Truckers protest airport construction project

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MONCTON, N.B. — About 100 members of the Tri-County Truckers Association gathered yesterday at the Moncton airport to protest what they consider unfair treatment.

At the heart of the protest is the new terminal for the airport, which is now under construction and Gladstone Developments’ role as the main contractor.

Local association officials say the majority of aggregate trucks being used on airport expansion project are coming from other parts of the province. As a result, its local members have not been able to secure jobs on the construction project.

The truckers had planned a peaceful protest of the job site with about 100 trucks gathered along Champlain Street near the airport around 1 p.m. and while they did not block traffic they were themselves hemmed in.

When the first of the association trucks attempted to travel up the Midland Road to do one loop of the project to show their opposition, a Cat skidder was used by a Gladstone employee to block them.

Several hours later — following negotiations with the police — the skidder was removed and five of the trucks were permitted to make their loop on the site.

Rob Robichaud, president and managing director of the airport authority, says although the protest and resulting standoff were unfortunate, the project is a private contract so the work can be contracted to anyone. That’s despite the fact provincial funds to the tune of $3.2 million will help pay for the expansion.

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